The Government is clamping down on fraud and if you're a visa holder it may impact you.
The Australian Tax Office has announced that around 20 million visa holders are to be scrutinised under a data matching scheme with the aim of catching those who are avoiding tax, falling foul of superannuation compliance and working illegally.
The team here at Visa Solutions Australia has been finding out how this data sharing may affect visa holders and employers.
What does it mean?
Under the data matching scheme, the Australian Tax Office will become privy to your tax, bank, social security and wages and will be able to share this information with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
This means it will be easier for officials to detect anyone who is flouting their obligations be that a visa holder or an employer.
The Federal Government will look at records and review information on not just sponsors and visa holders but also migration agents and education providers. Officials will be able to find out where visa holders have travelled, where they’ve worked or studied and the payments they’ve received.
It could also mean that those who left Australia may be entitled to superannuation which they didn’t know about.
When does this audit take place?
This audit will take place over the next three years and is part of a recent Australian Government drive to pay closer attention to the information it holds and be able to share records to investigate fraud and non-compliance.
Government ministers have defended the audit claiming that they’re tracking down those who think they’re above the system.
How will it affect employers and visa holders?
If you claimed that you undertook some regional work as part of your Working Holiday Visa but didn’t actually carry it out, if that information comes to light, it could prevent you from extending your visa.
If you're employer and an approved sponsor, then you have a duty to keep records of wages and produce payslips. Even if you pay cash, this needs to be documented.
457 employees who do not declare their wages to the Australian Tax Office will be caught in breach of their visa conditions and this may cost them their visa.
Data matching will pick up any discrepancies between BAS statements, tax assessments, bank records between employers and employees.
If evidence emerges that you’re an employer who offers sponsorship and are paying visa holders below average wages, then it could result in your sponsorship approval being cancelled.
If you're worried about what this may mean for you, then pick up a phone and speak to a migration agent here at Visa Solutions Australia. We pride ourselves on the exceptional service we r provide to our clients. Our testimonials speak for themselves so talk to us today.